tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC September 23, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
this is "world news." tonight, critical condition. a shortage of life-saving drugs reaches an 'emmic new level. drugs millions of americans use for daily life. hospitals are scrambling and we look for the answer. bringing america back. states are rebuilding roads and bridges. so, why are chinese companies getting the jobs instead of american workers? supermarket secret. techniques the grocers discover that get us all to spend more. and our "person of the week." a lesson in finding community, connection, in every american town.
good evening. we begin tonight with that shortage of vital drugs in this country. word today it is now reaching patients in hospitals all across the country. shortages of everything from medicines that fight cancer to medicines for your heart and medicines to fight infection. it is so worrying, a hearing was called on capitol hill. and abc's medical editor, dr. richard besser, was one of the first to sound the alarm about this growing crisis. and he brings us the latest tonight. >> reporter: the shortages threaten the lives of patients like allison curran. >> i want to live. and i want these people with leukemia not to go through the pain and the suffering that i've been going through. and now the medicine is at arms length and i can't grab it. >> reporter: and now, it's not just chemotherapy drugs. but 209 different critical drugs, antibiotics, anesthesia
drugs and even crash cart drugs, used for heart attack victims, all in dangerously short supply. forcing some hospitals to buy their medicines from profiteers who can charge a staggering 650% more for a drug. by one count, 15 deaths now blamed on the shortage. some hospitals forced to improvise, making mistakes. >> this growing trend has the potential to impact our entire health care system. >> reporter: round the clock race. hospitals scrambling to find drugs their patients must have. >> we actually have to take pharmacist time away from taking care of patients to be able to manage these drug shortages. >> reporter: even at one of the nation's best hospitals, the cleveland clinic, dr. mandy leonard fired a special pharmacist, whose only job is to search out drugs in scarce supply. >> it's very scary. and this is something that we're managing, you know, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, because we never know when a shortage is going to occur. >> reporter: why?
shortages of raw materials, quality and manufacturing problems. and companies choosing to stop making generic drugs that are less profitable. thankfully, allison is now in remission. but she wants congress to act, and now. >> i'm still upset about this. this is a huge problem, because people are going to die and i don't want to be one of those people that dies. >> reporter: we asked the medical community what needs to happen. the government could stockpile critical drugs. and financial incentives could get manufacturers to simply make more. what i want to see right now is what was proposed by congress today. and that's the government needs to force drug companies to warn the nation as soon as they see a production problem. right now, hospitals at times find out only the day the drug was supposed to arrive. with that kind of warning, there would be enough time to get drugs from overseas and ensure they are safe. >> simplest level, just warn that it might be coming and it would be a big help. okay, thank you, dr. besser. as we said, he has been on this from the beginning. as you know, abc news is
always looking for ways to bring american jobs back to america. so, this week, it was shocking to learn so many great inf infrastructure projects are under way in america, rebuilding bridges and roads in american cities, but they've hired chinese firms and chinese workers. why? "20/20" anchor chris cuomo is the captain of our bringing america back team and he decided to track down those people who made these decisions. >> reporter: rebuilding america's crumbling infrastructure is now a priority. >> help us rebuild this bridge. help us rebuild america. help us put construction workers back to work. >> reporter: in new york, a $400 million renovation of the alexander hamilton bridge. in california, a whopper, a $7.2 billion new bridge to connect san francisco and oakland. and in alaska, a proposed $190 million bridge project. sounds like a great opportunity for government spending to actually lead to real jobs. the problem? much of the work is going to
chinese government-owned contracting firms. >> when we're subsidizing jobs in china, we're not creating any wealth in the united states. >> reporter: in alaska, outraged union workers took to the airwaves with an obvious point. >> this is not the time to send more jobs to china. our tax dollars will provide hundreds of jobs there, not at home. >> reporter: u.s. law actually requires major infrastructure projects to buy america when the cost difference is reasonable. in california, u.s. firms say they would have met those guidelines, but state officials decided to turn down federal money for a major part of the bridge, allowing a chinese company to get the job. at a cost of almost 3,000 american jobs and a potential $1 billion boost to the struggling california economy. >> it would have had a multiplying effect. because it would not only have given thousands of californians jobs, but also the subsequent spending would have been reinvested back into our economy. >> reporter: is this the best way to bring america back?
we went to california officials who claimed the chinese could do the work faster and cheaper. why can't the americans do it as quickly as the chinese? what makes them so special? >> one issue that you will consistently hear every time you go to a fabrication site in this country, is that they struggle at this point in time to obtain welders. that is an issue in this country. >> reporter: so can you say that you guys have done everything you can to keep jobs here in building this bridge? >> absolutely. >> but would american companies have done it, chris, for a little less money and tried to race it along? >> reporter: the u.s. firms say absolutely. they say they could have done this job. and it's not a level playing field. the chinese firms are state-owned. they don't pay their workers as much. that's why the buy america laws were passed. if states can get around them, diane, we'll never bring america back. you have to enforce the rules to let american companies play. >> okay, hard to watch, as we said. captain of our team, chris cuomo. thank you. and we turn now to politics. the republican contenders taking
aim at one another in last night's debate. it's your voice, your vote. and tonight, we've decided to run a fact check on a statement by the front-runner, texas governor rick perry. our watchdog, jon karl, made some phone calls on something perry said last night. >> it's the subject of the harshest attacks rick perry has faced. his order requiring sixth grade girls in texas to get a vaccine to protect against cervical cancer. in last night's fox news debate, michelle bachmann said he did so to help a big political backer. >> that big drug company gave him campaign contributions and hired his former chief of staff to lobby him to benefit the big drug company. >> reporter: perry has heard that attack before. but last night, he had a new, emotional response. >> i got lobbied on this issue. i got lobbied by a 31-year-old young lady who had stage 4 cervical cancer. i spent a lot of time with her. she came by my office, talked to
me about this program. >> reporter: perry was talking about heather burchan. he formed a close bond. spent time at her bedside in hospice and spoke at her memorial when she died. he did it all quietly, with no fanfare. but according to perry's own spokesman, perry signed the executive order on february 2 pd, 2007, and did not even meet heather until more than two weeks later, on february 19th. as the legislature was debating overturning the governor's order. the most jarring moment of the debate came from the audience, scattered boos for a u.s. soldier serving in iraq, who said he is gay. >> do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been make for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military? >> reporter: we asked the conditions why none of them on the stage reacted to those boos. some said they didn't hear them, others said the debate was simply moving on too quickly. diane? >> jon karl on the fact check beat tonight.
and we want to tell you now about a highly charged moment of history and drama at the united nations today. a move to change the course of the middle east, israel and the world. you are listening to a lot of delegates clapping and cheering, a one-minute ovation as palestinian president mahmoud abbas held up that copy of a letter requesting a palestinian state. he said the time has come in the west bank city of aramallah. palestinians were jup lant. we asked alex marquardt to take us inside it, show us just a moment of the celebration. >> reporter: diane, palestinians are calling this a moment of truth. a historic moment. more than six decades in the making. thousands of palestinians have turned out across the west bank today to watch abbas' speech on big screen tvs like this one here in ramallah's yasser arafat square. they say that after two decades of failed talk with the israelis
brokered by the united states, that enough is enough. they have to try something new. but many fear that little will change. and many are, in fact, that things could get worse under this israeli occupation. so, a big and controversial political maneuver and the big question now is what happens next? diane? >> all right, alex marquardt reporting. we know what the palestinians are thinking tonight, but what about israel? less than an hour after abbas made his speech, the israeli prime minister took the same u.n. microphone and said, this is the wrong move for the palestinians. if you want a state, he said, meet with me right here, right now. and david muir, who anchors "world news" every weekend caught up with netanyahu. >> reporter: we heard your invitation to president abbas. let's meet here today in the united nations. who is there to stop us? did you meet? >> no, i'm still here. he's in town. there's no reason why we shouldn't meet. >> reporter: as president abbas was speaking today, we saw
jubilation from the palestinians, who believe that now is the time for two states. do you agree with that? >> i think that peace will require two states, a palestinian state that recognizes the jewish state. they're willing to accept the palestinian state but they don't want to recognize the jewish state. >> reporter: president obama and former president clinton, for that matter, did not support this move by the palestinians before the u.n. today. but president clinton was quoted in the last 24 hours, bluntly saying, reportedly, that your government is to blame for the continued failure of the middle east peace process, saying that you've essentially moved the goal posts when you came to power. how do you react to that? >> i respectfully disagree. the palestinians are basically trying to short cut this. they are trying to get a state without getting peace and without giving security. >> reporter: you're aware of the political climate in this country. president obama running for re-election, governor rick perry, a republican from texas, one of the many who would like president obama's job. and he said that we would not be
here today at the very precipice of such a change rouse move if the obama policy in the middle east wasn't -- >> naive and arrogant, misguide and dangerous. >> reporter: what do you make of those words? i'm just not going to walk into the mine field of american politics. i have enough politics back at home. >> reporter: i'm not sure if you saw this magazine cover while in new york. they make the argument that president obama is the best friend israel has right now. >> well, i'm not going to get into these rankings. >> reporter: is he is east friend? >> i'm sure -- he's definitely a friend of israel and definitely represents what the people of the united states feel for israel. >> reporter: the prime minister calling president obama a friend, but not going so far as to call him a best friend. but he knows full well just our politically charged this issue has become right here in the u.s. >> so, when's the vote? >> reporter: it could be weeks before a vote but they need a majority of the security council and we learned of a swing vote that has u.s. authorities very concerned about this.
the u.s. does not want to veto this because of the drama that would unfold. >> all right, david muir's interview tonight. thank you so much david. and still ahead on "world news," new supermarket secrets. the brand new, hidden ways they get you to buy more than you need. the sky is falling. but where? the latest on the space debris. and -- ♪ >> the song kids from every corner of american life want to sing with you about all of us, together. our "person of the week." [ male announcer ] people don't make a list of websites they want to see before they die. they don't fill photo albums with pictures from an online search. it's okay. the internet will be just fine without you. that's why we built the first search engine for the real world -- the dodge journey. and then we left three somewhere out there. if you can find one, you can have one. all you have to do
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seduction. and it starts, like many seductions, with flowers, which are often right at the entrance. >> if you can smell the flowers, it creates a 40% increase in good mood. >> reporter: the products you see, where they're displayed, even what you smell is all part of a sophisticated, market-tested strategy to get you to buy. >> so, while i'm buying the apples, i'm thinking, "oh, you know, i could also buy some caramel and have caramel apples. great idea." now i've got an impulse buy. >> reporter: with food prices up 6% in the last year, cost-cautious consumers may want to pay attention to some of the psychology supermarkets use. in their pretty, little baskets, the apples look like they're straight from the farm. they put you in a pleasant, seasonal mood. this is what's known as a symbolic. these vegetables, fragrant and glistening with water sprayed on them every few minutes are hedonics, they excite your senses. and this cheese stand in loaded with choices so you have to pause to find the one you came for. that pause is called dwell time.
another crafty means of per sway shun, packing food in ice. >> it also signals to the shopper, "hey, this is perishable. this is called the racetrack. >> reporter: to lure them down the aisle, an eye-catching sale item is placed on a stand near the racetrack. is it fair to say they're trying to trick you in any sense? >> i wouldn't say that. >> reporter: influence? >> influence, yes. >> reporter: we met sharon mccain who said she was "influenced" to buy something she didn't intend to. >> i didn't intend to buy apples. they looked good, so i got them. >> reporter: yes, it really does work. ron claiborne, abc news, new york. >> our detective ron claiborne. coming up, where is that space debris going to fall? we'll bring you the latest. [ male announcer ] a simple gesture can spark romance anytime. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready
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♪ whose non-stop day starts with back pain... and a choice. take advil now and maybe up to four in a day. or choose aleve and two pills for a day free of pain. way to go, coach. ♪ that chicken little night we've been telling you about has now arrived. in hours, all eyes will be turned up to the sky for that six-ton nasa satellite the size of a bus, only now a little behind schedule, to race toward earth. and abc's neal karlinsky is outside of los angeles at one of the centers tracking the satellite. when do we look up, neal? when? >> reporter: when, indeed. this is one stubborn satellite, diane. and the united states is still in the possible impact zone. if we look at the big globe, where it is right now, it has the earth upside down. it's just going over india as we speak. their latest projections have it
splashing down in the ocean southwest of hawaii tonight around midnight, around 12:04 eastern time. now, there's a huge margin of error, both in the location and the time on that, but what we do know is that 26 chunks are exjekted to survive reentry. and this, right here, is what some of the chunks are going to look like. this is a titanium fuel tank from a rocket that landed, came down in mongolia last year. we know that the u aars has tan like this, and they are expected to come down, again, right around midnight eastern time. give or take a few hours. >> okay, neal, we'll be tracking it with you, staying up late. thank you so much. and after 41 years, the err are is over. it was the final curtain call for "all my children," the beloved soap opera that made erica kane a household name. here's how it ended. the stars gather for a party, but a character was lurking
outside with a gun, and then, the screen went black. we heard gunshots. and, by the way, it launched a lot of stars, that show, sara michelle gellar and regis' great partner, our friend, kelly ripa, just two of them. coming up, a song and a lesson about really loving the people in your hometown. our "person of the week." do you have an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, or afib, that's not caused by a heart valve problem? are you taking warfarin to reduce your risk of stroke caused by a clot? you should know about pradaxa. an important study showed that pradaxa 150mg reduced stroke risk 35% more than warfarin. and with pradaxa, there's no need for those regular blood tests. pradaxa is progress. pradaxa can cause serious, sometimes fatal, bleeding. don't take pradaxa if you have abnormal bleeding,
and seek immediate medical care for unexpected signs of bleeding like unusual bruising. pradaxa may increase your bleeding risk if you're 75 or older, have kidney problems or a bleeding condition, like stomach ulcers. or if you take aspirin products, nsaids, or blood thinners. tell your doctor about all medicines you take, any planned medical or dental procedures, and don't stop taking pradaxa without your doctors approval, as stopping may increase your stroke risk. other side effects include indigestion,stomach pain, upset, or burning. if you have afib not caused by a heart valve problem, ask your doctor if pradaxa can reduce your risk of a stroke. for more information or help paying for pradaxa, visit pradaxa.com. growing the perfect prune plum is an art form. and now, we present a true masterpiece: d'noir prunes. they're delicious. absolutely perfect. d'lightful, d'licious, d'noir prunes, only from sunsweet.
and finally tonight, our "person of the week." sometimes there are distances that can only be bridged with creativity and heart. and that's what one man did, winning a so-called genius grant, a macarthur grant. $500,000 this week. and he did it for making sure children from very different neighborhoods share the lessons they can teach each other. >> two, three, four -- ♪ >> reporter: this chorus of young people had no idea they would ever sing together. their faces diverse, inspired, full of joy. and from all economic, religious
and cultural backgrounds. they have come to this kind of musical cathedral, where everyone is the same. >> they come in here with heavy book bags and heavy loads of life and they leave here they they are a completely different person. >> reporter: francisco nunez is the founder of the young people's chorus of new york city. and it is an idea driven by his life. he grew up in a neighborhood filled with gangs, but his mother had an idea. she got a piano and the piano gave him the world. he met people asking questions he had never considered. >> what am i going to be when i grow up? the kids in my neighborhood, they didn't think about the future. they were dealing only with today. >> reporter: so, his idea was to build a chorus, open to any child in a vast city, willing to show up to rehearsals and put in the work. >> doesn't matter who you are, which neighborhood you come
from. >> you show your emotions. >> reporter: and they not only sing together, they spend hours talking about life and the path ahead. >> it's life changing here because they learn to seek out a different kind of community. they feel comfortable with the person that's very wealthy, a person who is very poor, a person of any kind of color. >> reporter: and what started with just nine kids has now grown into one of the most celebrated children choruses in the world. they've recorded seven cds, performed at famed venues like carnegie hall and traveled all across the globe. >> music is a common denominator. it's forgiving. you can make a mistake and it's okay. and you can find the right note to make it right. everybody has a voice. so, i think music is a way of teaching children that they're capable of doing great things.
♪ show you the way >> reporter: and so we choose francisco nunez and his song. he says he's going to use the money from the grant to create other choruses across the country and the globe. we're so glad you are watching. we are always there at abcnews.com and of course "20/20" will be here tonight. and david muir will be right in this chair all weekend, on sunday night, be sure to watch him. and for all of us at abc news, we hope have you a great night and a great weekend.